Pretend the World

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Overview

Pretend the World confronts our false sense of safety in our self-created worlds. From her St. Paul kitchen to the historical shores of Lake Superior, from an airplane above Bagdad to a clothing factory in Guangdong, Kathryn Kysar pretends the glimmering and the sordid in these honest, searing poems that explore the inequities, cracks, and fissures in women's constructed lives.

Kathryn Kysar is the author of Dark Lake (Loonfeather Press, 2002), a book of poetry, and is the ...

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Pretend the World

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Overview

Pretend the World confronts our false sense of safety in our self-created worlds. From her St. Paul kitchen to the historical shores of Lake Superior, from an airplane above Bagdad to a clothing factory in Guangdong, Kathryn Kysar pretends the glimmering and the sordid in these honest, searing poems that explore the inequities, cracks, and fissures in women's constructed lives.

Kathryn Kysar is the author of Dark Lake (Loonfeather Press, 2002), a book of poetry, and is the editor of Riding Shotgun: Women Write About Their Mothers (Borealis Books, 2008). She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Anderson Center, and she has published poems in many anthologies and magazines, including Great River Review, Mizna, and Painted Bride Quarterly. She serves on the board of directors for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The spirited poems in Kathryn Kysar's Pretend the World radiate a lyric vitality as they explore the world of nature, motherhood, sexuality, and celebrate the lost bounty of the past."—Dorianne Laux, author of The Book of Men

"In poems that 'tick from her tongue,' Kathyrn Kysar skillfully weaves the personal with the political. I'm thinking of pieces like 'Cutting Bread' and 'Playing with Planes,' but also 'the weight of war in a mother's heart.' This is a sure lyric voice rooted in the Midwest, but also the world at large. In language both precise and vivid ('Exactness is [her] prayer'), we experience 'soft, tendril-like bones' and watch as '[c]rimson curls a leaf's edge.' Pretend the World brings to mind, but with a twist, the Whitmanic ethos: who touches this book, touches a woman."—Francisco Aragón, author of Glow of Our Sweat

"In Kathryn Kysar's poems, culture and history become an umbilical cord burrowed deep into Midwestern soil, spiraling and reemerging, literally, in China. These are poems that merge landscape and interiority to re-inspire life. What results is a voice strong and delicate as a nexus of white tree branches mid-winter, emanating poem after gorgeous poem that in total whisper like wind over land and water the constant reminder: 'we are all learning to leave.' Profound, wise, playful, Kysar is a rare and amazing poet. A beautiful, awesome book of graces to be wildly celebrated."—Ed Bok Lee, author of Real Karaoke People and Whorled

"Balancing the delicate acts of loving and grieving, Kathryn Kysar microscopes the world of modern woman/motherhood. Kysar's ability to politicize parenting and gender offer a gripping but blunt way of seeing the lives we create, the wars we wage, the things we consume, and the connections we make without overbearing sentimentality or righteousness. Pretend the World is a searing testament to being a mother in a world filled with monsters."—Poetry Foundation

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780982354544
  • Publisher: Holy Cow! Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2011
  • Pages: 72
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Kathryn Kysar is the author of a book of poetry Dark Lake (Loonfeather, 2002) and the editor of a collection of essays, Riding Shotgun: Women Writing About Their Mothers (Borealis, 2008). Her poems have been heard on A Writer's Almanac and published in many literary magazines including Great River Review, Midland Review, Mizna, Painted Bride Quarterly, and The Talking Stick. A winner of the Lake Superior Writer's and SASE poetry contests, Kysar has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Minnesota State Arts Board, Norcroft, The Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, and Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 27, 2011

    recommends...

    I loved this book. The range of poems in the collection place the reader both solidly in the 'now' and the ethereal past - from musings on "The Effects of Loud Rock and Roll on an Unborn Fetus" to a grieving woman in 1920s Grand portage. There is an immediacy and fierceness in these lines that appealed to me as a mother and as a contemporary woman in uncertain times. A few poems struck me as lines drawn in the sand between mothers and war and the other senseless losses we are invariably bound by. In "Dresses Everywhere" three generations converge - grandmothers, who "couldn't be seen in pants" to the practical urban mother of a frill-and-lace-craving toddler, longing for the day her little girl will be safe in the armor of denim. These poems reminded me of the fiction of Helen Simpson in that they are ruminations of the daily and mundane, though richly mined, dug from the depths of womanhood with toothsome shovels.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    A Book That Belongs on Your "To-Read" Shelf!

    To pretend the world is to apprehend the world. This collection of poetry by Kathryn Kysar traces the thread of this apprehension through the experiences of childhood, young adulthood, motherhood, and beyond, from "The Effects of Loud Rock and Roll on an Unborn Fetus" to "Wichita Cockroaches", these poems celebrate the threads of belief that connect us to each other.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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